Posts Tagged ‘child safety’
Surprisingly, the majority of injuries to children are not the result of a recalled or dangerous product. Even well designed toys can be hazardous if given to a child in the wrong age range or if not used properly. Injuries from riding toys account for a significant number of incidents and choking incidents are always an ongoing concern.
Make sure toys are suited to the child’s age, abilities, skills and interest level. Review all manufacturer instructions and warnings and pay special attention to the following hazards:
- Magnets - For children under age six, avoid building sets with small magnets. If swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur.
- Small Parts and Sharp Edges - For children younger than three, avoid any toys with small parts or points that can cause choking or contact injuries.
- Projectile Toys - Projectile toys such as air rockets, darts and sling shots are for older children. Improper use of these toys can result in serious eye injuries.
- Batteries and Chargers - Make sure battery compartments are secured and childproofed if necessary. Small batteries can be swallowed with serious consequences. Battery charging should be supervised by adults. Improper use can pose shock or burn hazards to children.
Toys aren’t the only items found in a home that children may need protection from. Every year the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Canadian Standards Association issue recall notices and product alerts for products that pose safety risks to children as well as adults. These include:
- Lead and lead-paint hazards with cooking and eating containers
- Choking hazards associated with blinds and Roman shades
- Electric and fire hazards associated with electric space heaters
- Carbon monoxide hazards associated with portable generators
To keep up to date on potential concerns in your home, visit the following websites: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and CSA Product Alerts & Product Recalls. You can also sign up for a subscription service to get regular notices via email of new product safety warnings.
Furniture tip over injuries have increased as the size of furniture and appliances has increased. Tip-over casualties most frequently occur when children climb onto, fall against or pull themselves up on television stands, shelves, bookcases, dressers, desks and chests. In some cases, televisions placed on top of furniture fall and cause a child to suffer traumatic injuries.
Industry standards require that TV stands, chests, bureaus and dressers pass a stability test. If a piece of furniture violates these standards, the product can be subject to a safety recall. But this only provides limited protection. Where the TV or furniture is placed and how it is used is beyond the manufacturer control. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission and Health Canada there are simple steps that parents and caregivers can take to help prevent injury.
To help prevent tip-over hazards, consider the following safety tips:
- Choose storage furniture (bookcases, cabinets, television stands and dressers) with wide and stable bases that sit directly on the floor. Models with legs or wheels are more likely to tip over.
- Attach furniture to the wall using angle braces, anchors or safety straps. If these items come with the product, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation. Secure the anchors directly to wall studs if possible.
- Do not place TVs on dressers. They are not designed to hold them. Place televisions far back on low, stable furniture that is designed to hold the weight and size of the television. Attach the television to a stand if possible.
- Keep electrical cords behind furniture where children cannot reach them.
- Do not place items that may appeal to children — such as toys, plants and remote controls — on top of TVs or tall furniture.
- Children may climb dressers because the drawers can be opened and used as steps. But open drawers make a dresser unstable, increasing the chance of it tipping over. For your children’s safety:
- Open only one drawer at a time and close all drawers when not in use.
- Place heavier items — like books — on lower shelves or in lower drawers.
- Always supervise children in the home and teach them not to climb or hang from furniture.
Tip over protection is also needed for most freestanding and slide-in ranges/ovens. This is a simple bracket that is usually installed at the back base of the unit to prevent it from tipping over if weight is applied to an open door. Most manufacturers have supplied the bracket since the 1990s. It can often be observed by removing the bottom drawer, if one is present. If there is any doubt about whether this tip protection is required for your unit or how it should be installed, contact the manufactures. For extra protection when children are present, a child-resistant door lock can be installed.
For additional tips on home safety go to totsafe.com
Each year, the insertion of foreign objects into electric receptacles results in injuries to many children. Nearly 90% of these incidents involved children under 6, with 1st and 2nd degree burns accounting for the vast majority of injuries.
The typical foreign-object insertion situation involves:
- A 2 or 3 year old child (50% of all incidents)
- An incident occurring at home
- Insertion of a hairpin or key
- 1st or 2nd degree burn to fingers
- Emotional trauma to the child and parents
- Treatment required in an emergency room
Besides hairpins or keys, other common objects inserted by children include fingers, pins, wires, screws, nails, paper clips, plugs, tweezers, paper clips, utensils and jewelry.
To help prevent these insertion incidents and injuries, the most widely used electric codes call for a new electric safety feature in all new homes – tamper-resistant receptacles.
This code change primarily affects new construction; however, tamper-resistant receptacles can be added in existing homes as well.
Tamper-resistant receptacle technology uses a built-in system to prevent a foreign object from touching electrically live components when the object is inserted into the receptacle slots. There are several methods to achieve tamper-resistance operation, the most common being the use of a spring-loaded shutter mechanism. When the receptacle is not in use, the shutters are closed, and all electric contacts are covered. Upon insertion of a plug, the blades of the plug simultaneously compress the shutters against the spring. This simultaneous force causes the shutters to slide aside to access to the receptacle contacts, allowing the plug to be fully inserted into the receptacle. When the plug is removed, the shutters instantly close, covering the contact openings.
Standard plugs can be inserted in and removed from a tamperproof receptacle in the same manner as standard electrical outlets; however, insertion of an object into one slot, or uneven insertion is prevented. The tamper-resistant features, however, don’t provide protection against the simultaneous insertion of two single-pronged items. Determined adults and adolescents could also bypass the tamperproof mechanisms if significant force is applied.
Unlike plastic outlet caps and other add-on childproofing devices, which can be removed, tamper-resistant receptacles provide permanent protection. In addition, some plug-in devices can easily be pulled out by children and have also proven to be a choking hazard due to their small size. Some other types of add-on devices create a risk of arcing or overheating due to a partially exposed plug or reduced plug/receptacle contact surface.
All tamper-resistant receptacles must have either the words “Tamper Resistant” or the letters “TR” on the device in a manner that allows the label to be reviewed with the wall plate removed.
Additional information about tamper-resistant receptacles can be found at the National Electric Manufacturer’s Association Safety website: www.childoutletsafety.org, the Electrical Safety Foundation International website: www.esfi.org, and the Safe Kids Canada website: www.safekidscanada.ca.
Article (c) DBR Franchising, LLC.